The city of dazzling lights is known for many things, from its casino gambling to its deluxe hotels. But at the heart of almost all of Vegas’s attractions are its events, which are flamboyant, ostentatious and above all sensational. Lights and sounds hit you like ton of bricks from all directions, tickling senses you never knew you had, and satiating every cultural desire. The events in this city are so remarkable and unforgettable, in fact, that some of them are enough to draw visitors from around the world to the Nevada desert.
For those interested in finding the perfect reason to visit, we’ve put our heads together to come up with some of the best events that might just draw you to Las Vegas.
1. The NBA Summer League
The NBA’s offseason showcase is also known as the Las Vegas Summer League, such is the importance of the setting. The Summer League is where much of the league gathers together while young players, reserve players, and new rookies look to gain traction in scrimmages. This makes for a chance to watch some up-and-coming stars in the festive setting of Vegas. And for big NBA fans, it’s also an opportunity to bump elbows with some of the most famous figures in basketball, given how many big names tend to be milling about the league (and the casinos).
All in all, the league makes for a nice change from the regular season, and a great excuse to spend some time in Vegas. To give you an idea of the kinds of players you might be able to catch in action if you go, 2021 Summer League standouts included the likes of Jalen Green and Cade Cunningham (top draft picks and potential Rookie of the Year contenders), as well as Tyrese Maxey (a potential Most Improved Player in 2021-22).
2. The World Series of Poker
Many of us have played the game ourselves, or at least dabbled in its online iteration. Yet, there’s nothing quite like attending poker’s biggest competition. You’ll be up close to the action, able to smell the adrenaline in the players bluffing one another for huge sums of cash. The 2021 World Series of Poker actually marked something of a return to normal for the event, which had been somewhat hamstrung by COVID-19 in 2020. It was a great chance to see pro poker back and as big as ever, and in 2022 the event will move back to its typical summer schedule (whereas this year it took place in the fall).
2022 will also see the World Series move from the Rio to the heart of the Strip, making it that much more accessible to visitors staying in the main resorts.
3. Life Is Beautiful Festival
This music and art festival is an annual feast for the eyes and ears in downtown Las Vegas. As one of the world’s highest-grossing festivals, this September highlight is one of the events that consistently attracts people from elsewhere to the Nevada desert. In addition to all the music and art you could possibly want to experience, you’ll find everything from culinary events to educational acts. One thing is certain: You’ll leave this festival a far wiser and more informed person than you were going in!
A few weeks later, and it’s Halloween. This may be one of the most surprising entries on our list, but Las Vegas is actually a remarkably spooky and fun destination at which to spend Halloween. There are countless events, from the spooky themes at The Underground (a renowned speakeasy) to Tom Devlin’s Monster Museum. If you’re brave enough, you can also take part in the Escape Blair Witch immersive experience, and enter the R-rated haunted house attraction of the Freakling Bros.’ Gates of Hell. These are fun, but certainly not for the faint of heart!
5. Electric Daisy Carnival
The Electric Daisy Carnival is a Motor Speedway event that combines a great array of rides with electronic music and some automobile displays. This intoxicating fusion makes for an unforgettable day out in October. The Guardian even named it as one of the main examples of rave music taking over America.
There are some things you can always expect to be able to enjoy in Las Vegas; there are always gaming options, live shows, great dining spots, and, per our previous post ‘5 Budget Friendly Places to Party in Las Vegas’, good places to let loose and unwind. But it’s also fun to design a trip around an event, and the ones listed above make for some of the most enjoyable opportunities.